GED Sample Questions: Social Studies and Media

On the Social Studies portion of the GED, you may be asked to answer questions about different forms of media, including newscasts. Take a look at the following for an example.

The questions in this article refer to the following newscast.

World Environmental News

Good evening and welcome to World Environmental News.

Our stories this evening: cyclones in Korea, hurricane near Mexico, flooding in Europe and India, volcanic eruptions in New Guinea, drought in Australia, tornadoes in the United States, hailstorms in Italy, earthquakes in Iran, and locusts in Denmark.

Now, let's look at our top stories.

Drought in Australia: The wheat fields west of Canberra, New South Wales, are in great danger today because of the ongoing drought. In the next week, farmers may have to write off this year's crop, and this will likely lead to financial ruin for many. To add to the misery, hundreds of thousands of sheep had to be sold because there was not enough water for them to drink.

Locusts in Denmark: The unseasonably warm weather in Denmark is proving to be inviting to the lowly locust. Normally found along the Mediterranean coast, the locust has been found far from its normal habitat. These discoveries in southwest Denmark are causing concern because locusts have not been seen in Denmark for more than 50 years.

Hurricane near Mexico: Hurricane Herman is losing force off the Pacific coast of Mexico. The country is giving a sigh of relief as the hurricane winds down.

For wine drinkers: And a last note for you wine drinkers. The recent violent hailstorms in Italy are expected to cause a poor grape harvest. This means lower wine production and, consequently, higher prices.

There's more as nature lashes out. Tune in again for World Environmental News.

  1. The newscast says “cyclones in Korea, hurricane near Mexico”; what is the difference between cyclones and hurricanes?

    • (A)Location. Meteorologists call these storms hurricanes in the Atlantic and northeast Pacific and cyclones in the eastern Pacific and Indian Ocean.

    • (B)Cyclones are a form of tornado.

    • (C)Cyclones are much more severe.

    • (D)Unlike hurricanes, cyclones are always associated with flooding.

  2. How does extreme drought cause financial problems for farmers?

    • (A)Farmers lose their entire year's crop and income.

    • (B)Selling off large herds of sheep at once leads to much lower prices and fewer sheep for future breeding stock.

    • (C)There may be a minor problem, but crop insurance covers these losses.

    • (D)Choices A and B.

  3. Why is the finding of locusts in Denmark significant?

    • (A)They reinforce the idea of climate change and global warming.

    • (B)Prevailing winds have shifted.

    • (C)Foreign ships carried insects and need more stringent inspection.

    • (D)It is an isolated incident and has no real significance.

Answer Key

  1. A. Location.

    Meteorologists call these storms hurricanes in the Atlantic and northeast Pacific and cyclones in the eastern Pacific and Indian Ocean. There is no difference between these storms other than location. Both hurricanes and cyclones are cyclonic storms, and both may bring flooding and heavy rains.

    A cyclone is not a tornado.

  2. D. Choice A and B.

    The extreme drought conditions in Australia led to both crop failures and the need to sell off far more sheep than usual. Both represent financial losses. Therefore, Choices (A) and (B) are correct. Although Choice (C) may be true, no information offered supports the idea that crop insurance exists for these farmers.

  3. A. They reinforce the idea of climate change and global warming.

    Because of unseasonably warm weather, locusts were found in Denmark. Locusts are drawn to warm weather. The fact that Denmark is warm enough to allow locust to survive means that the local climate must be warming. Although the newscast doesn’t say so, in the context of all the other information presented, this fact supports argument of climate change. You must interpret the information to arrive at the correct conclusion.

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